So here's the story. I started a podcast just as sidepodject for fun. I thought it might be cool to have authors on to speak (educators). So I contacted some BIG time names in the education world and actually got some responses. Now I'm worried because the sound quality of my voice is TERRIBLE. What do I need to do. I spoke to someone and they said I need a USB mic....that's a good place to start.

Any other ideas?

I use a terrible head set right now that plugs into the mic jack. I use Audacity and am having trouble at making my voice sound good.

Check out what I'm talking about. Visit my page, or go to theteacherslife.mypodcast.com , or download "The Teachers Life" in iTunes.

I listened to one of the shows and I had to take my headphones off it hurt so bad!

I'm obviously new to all of this, and if I'm going to interview some BIG dogs, I need to get my act together....quick!

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Tags: development, help, ipod, itunes, phone, podcast, professional, teachers, technology, touch

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I am currently an intern at Webcast Academy and am learning how to record interviews using Skype and Audacity. You don't need to learn the streaming section but check out the directions using a USB mic at their website (for Windows): http://www.webcastacademy.net/book/webcasting-overview-windows
I downloaded episode 3. The sound quality on this isn't terrible, but there are some things you can do to make it better.

Headset mics are a sometimes thing. You can maximize their sound quality by
- turning off "noise suppression" (if it has it)
- position the boom so that the mic is just about level with the tip of your nose
- don't touch it while you're recording

This sounds like you're recording at too high a level. While this mp3 file doesn't appear to be clipping -- that's when it chops off the loudest sounds -- the waveform LOOKS like you used Audacity's Normalize filter. That takes the clipping out of the output file, but leaves the noise that clipping causes.

Try cranking the gain back a bit to make sure it's not clipping . In Audacity you can tell if it clips by the little red band that appears in the meter.

Of course, recording at a low level creates another problem and that's having too weak a signal. You can fix that by creating a .wav file of your voice track and running that through a tool called Levelator (http://www.conversationsnetwork.org/levelator )

Then you can bring the output.wav file back into Audacity and mix the intro music, etc.

It also sounds like you didn't do *any* post production on this to do things like take out mis-speaks, clip out the 'um's or remove the lip clicks and smacks. You'll sound a lot better if you pay attention to those.

Oh, and if you save the audio *before* you render the final MP3 version, *always* save a .wav file version along with the .aup file. Use that .aup or .wav file to resume editing. Do NOT re-load the MP3 and edit that unless you have absolutely no choice. The MP3 file is a "lossy" format -- like jpeg for images -- and it throws away some information with each new save. (This is the bitter voice of experience talking.)

Finally, check out Gangplank there in Phoenix. I know a lot of those people and they'd be happy to help.
If u are using a Mac use Garageband to do your podcast. You can adjust your audio levels on there as well and a USB Microphone would be your best bet.
USB is better than the standard mic port in most cases and is probably good enough. There are higher quality USB Mics that are in the $50-$100 range--check reviews. Alternatively, you can buy are regular microphone with an XLR connector (~$100, but you can spend much, much more) which necessitates a sound board or a special audio card. A simple sound board can be has for well under $100. They connect to the computer via USB or better yet, firewire.

I am pretty happy with my Plantronics DSP 400 which goes for about $40. In general, I found Plantronics better than LogiTech, but that is anecdotal.

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